WHAT IS YOUR DESTINY?
Where are the Answers?
Have you ever considered the most important questions of life? Who you are, where you came from, why you are here and where you are going? What is your ultimate destiny? There are many answers given to these questions. Perhaps you confidently hold to your own, but there can only really be one correct answer. Have you considered that the God of the Bible provides the answer to these fundamental questions of life? The Bible is the very words of God. It is God’s revelation of Himself and His purposes for humanity. Jesus Christ said of God, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). That means the Bible is trustworthy and cannot err because God does not err (Psalm 19:7-11).
Who is God?
The Bible starts out saying, “In the beginning God...” (Genesis 1:1). The Bible never seeks to prove God because it is not necessary. It assumes His existence because all people have received the knowledge of His reality through creation (everything that exists) and through their consciences (Romans 1:19-20; 2:14-15; cf. Psalm 19:1-6). The remarkable order, power and beauty of the natural world points us to a magnificent designer. Furthermore, the innate moral sense of what is fundamentally right and wrong is embedded within the conscience of every soul. The source behind such a conscience is the unwavering moral character of God who has placed His standards of right and wrong upon our hearts. In fact the Bible says, “Only the fool has said in his heart, ‘there is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1). The God of the Bible claims exclusivity for Himself (Isaiah 45:5-6; 43:10-13). There is no other god. All other so-called gods are no gods at all. They are counterfeits. This same God exerts complete control over the entire universe (Daniel 4:34-35; Isaiah 40:15). In Him lie all the treasures of knowledge, wisdom and truth (Isaiah 40:14; Colossians 2:2-3).
Who are we?
The God of the Bible created and sustains the universe including mankind (Genesis 1:1-2:3; Isaiah 40:28; Psalm 90:1-2). We are not the result of impersonal materialistic forces as the theory of evolution proposes. We are not without dignity or purpose. Rather, we have been set apart from the rest of Creation in a special way. Human life has intrinsic value and is distinguished from the animals by virtue of being created with a soul. God created humans with a unique identity; He created us in His own image (Genesis 1:26). That means we reflect something of the nature of God Himself. We have personhood because we have been created by a personal God. We have been endowed with a unique intellect, imagination, desires and far-reaching creative abilities that set us apart from every other creature as we reflect the indelible stamp of God’s image within us. Furthermore, we were created for a special purpose, unlike any other living thing. God created us in order that we might enjoy a unique relationship with Him, in order to enjoy Him and worship Him forever. God intentionally created us for His own pleasure (Ephesians 1:4-6) and our pleasure as well. God created humans to reflect His glory as the stewards of His creation; to explore and utilize its abundant resources for His honor and glory (Genesis 1:26-28). Genuine happiness can never be found in anything or anyone else. In God alone can human beings find complete joy in this life and the life to come (Psalm 16:11). We are desperately lost and hopeless without Him.
What has gone wrong?
However, something has gone wrong. It is the problem of evil – not some removed sense of evil in the world around us – but that which rests within our own souls. The Bible says we have all, without exception, rejected God and despised His goodness and His morally beneficial commands. “There is none righteous, not even one… there is none who does good, there is not even one… All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:10, 12, 23). This means that no one meets the standard of moral goodness that God has set before all people to obey. We not only sin in our thoughts and deeds, but are routinely sinned against by others. In order to have a relationship with God, it must be based upon His holiness. God requires us to be holy (morally righteous) even as He is holy (Leviticus 11:44-45). “The Lord spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, and before all the people I will be honored’” (Leviticus 10:3). God is set apart in His unbridled purity and moral perfection, ablaze with unfathomable righteousness and glory. God is perfect in every moral attribute and requires our perfection if we should ever have a relationship with Him (Matthew 5:48). God cannot entertain those who have an immoral stain upon their lives. The sad reality is we human beings are sorely deficient.
Furthermore, sin (immoral actions) in ourselves, in others around us and in the world at large has caused us to experience a profound emptiness. There is a vacuum in our souls that only God can fill. Instead we have sought to fill it up with all sorts of things that never satisfy its deepest needs. We pursue this fulfillment with jobs, relationships, family, the pursuit of riches, and all sorts of earthly pleasures. We seek after various philosophies, self-help fads, spiritual ideas and religions to make sense of life. Sometimes in our wayward pursuits we have turned to drugs, abused alcohol, and have engaged in so many other vices that grip and destroy us. None of these things can fill the void and satisfy the longing for significance and meaning in our lives. The sense of fulfillment this world offers us is weak, deceptive and fleeting. True happiness remains illusive in what the world offers. But ultimately, we cannot blame the failure of these pursuits to satisfy our souls. Nor can we blame others who have hurt or failed us in one way or another. The blame lies within. It lies with our own moral corruption. Personal sin is what really leaves us profoundly dissatisfied. Our souls are restless and will always be restless in every earthly pursuit until we find our ultimate rest in God.
What is the Bad News?
The consequence of sin that all people face is death. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Death as the Bible describes it means separation from God – spiritual, physical, and eternal separation. Spiritual death means that even though we are alive, we are dead in spirit due to sin. “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). In such a state, we are cut off from having any kind of relationship with God (Ephesians 2:12). Spiritual death, the result of sin, is why we suffer under great duress at times and why life seems often so meaningless. Sin always leaves a pale of death wherever it goes. Behind the facade of apparent contentment so many experience is the face of darkness – a deathly hopelessness that marks our souls. Secondly, the consequence of sin is physical death which is really only the transition from spiritual death to eternal death. Eternal death is separation from God attended by eternal retribution in hell. Hell is that dark black pit of unspeakable misery (Matthew 8:12; 13:42; Mark 9:43-44; Luke 16:23; 2 Thessalonians. 1:9); a place of never ending conscious punishment for those who have rejected God. In its fires there will be no second chance for anyone to change their mind about God.
What is the Good News?
This is the bad news, but God has provided good news for all people. Fortunately, God is not only our Creator, but He is also a Savior (Isaiah 43:14-15). In fact, He is the only Savior one can turn to (Isaiah 43:11; Acts 4:12). Because the result of sin is death, in order to provide salvation God must deal with those consequences. God is just (Romans 3:26; cf. Deuteronomy 32:4) and cannot allow sin to go unpunished (Acts 17:31; Psalm 9:7-8). However, He also reserves the right to pardon sinners (Daniel 9:9; Isaiah 43:25).
Who is Jesus?
God developed a marvelous plan to free people from their sin while maintaining His justice. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to the earth to become a man (John 1:14) and thus, a Redeemer of men – a Savior to rescue human beings from the slavery of their own sin (Romans 3:24; Colossians 1:14). Jesus was fully God and fully man at the same time (Philippians 2:6-7). As a man, He was like us but with one vital exception – He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus demonstrated perfection in obedience to the commands of God. His life was marked by perfect righteousness, the kind God requires of all people, but who are incapable of fulfilling.
What did Jesus do?
Christ came in order to die (Philippians 2:8); to die on a cross, charged as a criminal. From a strictly legal perspective, Christ’s death was a breach of justice – not just human justice – but the very justice of God. No human has ever been undeserving of death except for one – Jesus Christ. Yet God was pleased to let Him die (Colossians 1:19-20) in order to accomplish redemption for sinful humans. It works this way – for every human life of sin, a human life must die to pay the consequences for sin. Nothing but human death will satisfy God’s justice. Furthermore, each person is responsible to pay the consequences of his or her own sin through death. Christ never sinned, so His death was in a very real sense unjust. He did not need to pay for His own sin, because he had none. However, God purposely chose the death of Christ to act as a substitute for the payment of the sins of others. Christ was willing to offer His life as a sacrifice on behalf of others (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 4:25, 5:6, 8; Galatians 3:13). Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45; Philippians 2:8). There is a one to one correspondence between Christ the person and for every person He died. Furthermore, because Christ was God, His death was completely effective in accomplishing the salvation of all those whom God rescues. If a person receives the benefit of Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice, they can be assured that God has calculated the precise weight of every sin they have ever committed. He has made sure that Christ bore the burden of every one of those sins upon the cross perfectly suffering nothing less than the just punishment they deserve (Colossians 2:14). Subsequently, God’s justice is upheld and the sinner is freed never to be punished for what has already been paid for by Christ.
Christ secures the payment for sin by His death, but furthermore, He shows power over the consequences of death by His resurrection from the dead. Christ came not simply to pay the price for sin, but to provide eternal life on behalf of those He redeems. His resurrection is a sign of the success of his substitutionary death, and demonstrates that death has no power over Him or over those whose lives are redeemed by what He achieved (Acts 2:24; Romans 6:9-10).
What is the Gospel?
This all results in the God initiated act of being made right with Him – of providing the way to have a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ – a life of unparalleled and unending joy. This is the gospel, which means, “good news.” Our sin spells bad news for all of us, but the good news is God has made a way out of the consequences of sin and has provided for the world a grand and glorious destiny. By Christ’s death, people may have their sins forgiven. Secondly, by Christ’s perfect life, people can be declared righteous – that is, God will consider them to be holy in His divine courtroom not through any merit of their own, but through their substitute, His Son. Christ becomes the perfect surrogate righteousness for those who trust in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Finally, by Christ’s resurrection, people can enjoy eternal life in a future perfect heaven and earth (2 Peter 3:13) where all sin and suffering is eliminated. You can be reconciled to a good and holy God!
Are we Good Enough?
It is all a work of God. No human is capable of making himself right before a holy God. Our persistent desire is always directed toward sin (Genesis 6:5). Again Jesus said, “This is the judgment, that the light [the truth of Jesus Himself] is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” (John 3:19-20). Furthermore, there is no good effort a man can do to gain the favor of God. “By the works of the Law [trying to obey God’s commands on your own] shall no flesh be justified” (Galatians 2:16; cf. Romans 3:20). The only way a person can be made right before God is by faith in Jesus Christ and His completed work on the cross. “A man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law” (Romans 3:28). Salvation is a gift of God that cannot be earned by anything we do. The Bible says it is the result of God’s grace. Grace means the loving favor God extends to undeserving and morally helpless sinners. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Spiritual and eternal riches are offered to us because of Christ’s poverty in death. The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works [human merit], that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The Bible speaks of the abounding love of God for sinners. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Also, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God does not desire the death of sinners but their salvation (1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9).
What is your Response?
By repenting of your sin and fully trusting Christ alone for salvation you may enter into the most meaningful life anyone can ever have. In order to be saved you must in the honest sincerity of your heart humbly acknowledge your sinful state before God, turn away from it and turn towards Him for the complete and everlasting forgiveness of all your sins, past, present and future. He has made every provision for you. “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
When one truly responds in faith to the redemption of God, salvation is at hand. Thus, one comes to be at peace with God, being reconciled to Him and able to enjoy the relationship with Him for which He designed us when He created us. There has been no greater sacrifice made on our behalf, no greater love for truly poor creatures than the love that God has for a lost and dying world. What is your destiny? Is it an eternal home in the grand palatial landscape of God’s heavenly kingdom? Do you desire to be free from all your sins along with all the guilt and shame it incurs? Do you wish to be completely forgiven and free to live a truly satisfying life incomparable to anything you have ever experienced? Turn to Christ now! No one has ever been disappointed who truly looked to Him for their redemption (Romans 10:11).
If you have made this choice or desire to have any questions about this plan of salvation answered, please do not hesitate to contact us. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your life is like, we want to help!